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  • Chris Crosby

Fertile Ground

Growing up, I took it for granted. Our garden flourished without the need to condition the soil before planting. Being raised in America’s heartland, where the nutrient-rich soil made it easy to grow things, I didn’t realize how good we had it. It wasn’t until I moved to another part of the country and fought dense clay soil, that I started to understand what we had growing up.

Over the last three weeks, we have been studying the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3-8). “Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: ‘Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.’”

As we look at the last section of this parable, Jesus tells us the meaning of the parable in Matthew 13:18-23. In verse 23, He explains the seed planted in good ground. “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

For anyone who gardens, the beauty of sowing and reaping is clearly understood. You plant one seed in the ground, and the harvest produces many more seeds in return. I think of the vegetables we grew. One corn seed produced several ears with hundreds of seeds. That kind of multiplication is ours in our spiritual lives when we spend time in Scripture, not just studying, but diving deep enough to understand it and apply it in our lives. When we take the time to tend the garden of our hearts, the fruit produced yields an abundant harvest. The more we tend, the greater the fruit.

As we have learned over the last weeks, we must prepare our hearts like a farmer tends his fields. We must clear the rocks, pull the weeds, and plant the seed in the fertile soil. Only then will our lives yield an abundant harvest. As we have studied the different types of soil and the condition of the ground, I have been challenged to review the soil of my heart. I’m looking for any stones that need to be removed. I hunt for weeds that should be pulled before they grow too large. I plant good seed, by studying and applying God’s Word (His seed) in my life.

Then I let the seed do its work. God promises if we do our part, He will produce a bountiful harvest that will honor Him. How is the garden of your heart?

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